Jacqueline Barton, PhD receives 2011 National Medal of Science

Dr. Jacqueline Barton (Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, and Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging in 2008) has been named one of seven recipients of the 2011 National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists. Barton was cited by the White House for her "discovery of a new property of the DNA helix, long-range electron transfer, and for showing that electron transfer depends upon stacking of the base pairs and DNA dynamics. Her experiments reveal a strategy for how DNA repair proteins locate DNA lesions and demonstrate a biological role for DNA-mediated charge transfer."

"Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place," said President Barack Obama when announcing the awards. "Their ingenuity inspires us all to reach higher and try harder, no matter how difficult the challenges we face." The National Science Foundation administers the National Medal of Science and its companion, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, on behalf of the White House. Nominees are selected by a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences. Past recipients of the National Medal of Science include six other EMF Senior Scholars, EMF Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Eric Kandel, and Founding Chairman of the EMF SAB, Dr. Joshua Lederberg. Barton and her fellow medal recipients will receive their awards from the President at a White House ceremony later this year.